Product Management: 5/5

And we’re back for the series finale!

To summarize, here is my 10-point manifesto:

  • Product management is all about compromise: finances, roadmap, R&D, design, technical debt, customers request … You cannot have it all, and even if you do it will not last. So, you better stay on guard
  • Tools and methodologies are two different concepts: Agile is not about just using a scrum tool or having standup meetings
  • Best team management is the horizontal one. Of course, it doesn’t always apply (keep it real). You still can use a bottom-up approach though: let the people decide how they like to work. At least, you’re sure they will give it their 100%. Keep it real though ūüėČ
  • When it’s too hard to decide, it means that you have a risk management situation. It’s always a good practice to focus on¬†the business value. So, for each feature, you need to identify it first. For instance, what I learned from the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, is that you don’t mix the launch of a flagship product with technical/financial experimentation. Samsung had succeeded this kind of exercise with the use¬†of exynos instead of Qualcom chips but somehow forgot about the basics. Bottom line, people were expecting a kick-ass smartphone, not a kick-ass smartphone with home-made batteries.
  • Long-term planning is rarely efficient. Short-term planning is tempting but eventually lead to short-sighted decision that eventually cost more. So keep it at¬†the middle. Technology business is evolving so fast, that you don’t have the luxury to have certainty about a 5-years plan.
  • Things will always go south. So instead of trying to control everything, prepare yourself for how to manage issues and damage control.
  • Always make room for recovering your technical debt, even a small one.
  • Team efficiency depends on its members involvement.
  • Share info. Involve others department when necessary while keeping in mind the big picture. Dare to ask for help.
  • Design your product for users humans.


Offline Rendering of GitHub Mardown

Why not a dedicated App?

I’m not a big fan of having a massive amount of windowed interfaces.¬†A terminal emulator and a web browser are good enough¬†for my daily routine.

When I document one of my projects on GitHub (yes, I do that), I have to write a markdown document (the README): it is very nicely rendered, first by markdown processors, then by web browsers.

However any graphical production must be visualized before being¬†published,¬†that’s just common sense.¬†Conversion from plain text to a fancy¬†rendered document¬†never goes well at the first attempt. There are always one or two¬†line endings that get smashed because you forgot to leave an empty¬†line in your markdown, an emphasis on word missing, etc. Of course, I’m not talking about¬†syntax errors since¬†mainstream text editors, such as vim, provide¬†pleasant syntax highlighting that prevent you from¬†messing the markdown up.

Let alone the fact¬†that¬†there are like a¬†dozen of different markdown flavours…

I simply don’t want to end up pushing my documentation to GitHub every time¬†I want to visualize what I just wrote. Some might… but I guess.. that’s not¬†the way to go, if you like to keep your repo history clean.


One day, Google, my good old big brother, gave me a solution to this dilemma: grip.

Grip is maintained by Joe Esposito. It is a command-line tool written in python, available through pip and which generates a preview of a markdown document. The latter is directly available on your web browser!

cd path/to/where/you/have/a/
grip -b –quiet¬† # -b to bring in the web browser, –quiet not to echo in the terminal (it bothers me)

And boom! The markdown preview is served to you on a silver platter!
when you are done, just <CTRL-C> in the terminal to kill the local server that
grip created.
Oh, did I forget to mention it can track changes as well?

For more details, please refer to grip`s README, well, written in markdown
of course:

Samsung connect auto

If you have been following the samsung announcements during this year MWC, you might have come across the Samsung connect auto. It’s basically a dongle that can plug into your car OBD II port (short for On-Board diagnostics:, assuming you have one, and turns your can into a connected one.

Interesting concept and product considering all the possibilities that it can offer:

I will use at least to find where I parked my car ūüôā

I’m personally more concerned about the security aspects of such thing. Indeed, Samsung states that security is provided through Knox platform. But I can’t help myself to wonder if it’s good enough considering that it simply creates a gateway to your car. I can already imagine a few scenarios where a hacker can exploit its¬†compatibility with geo-fencing and driver rating to do few things …

What do you think?